Son dies, father beaten in home invasion

September 10, 2009 3:08:14 PM PDT
A victim of a home invasion has died after a violent attack overnight in Queens.A violent night gave way to a heartbreaking morning. A son jumped to his father's defense to beat back a pair of would-be robbers and took a bullet for his bravery.

At the family's home at 95-09 North Conduit Avenue police continue to investigate what they're calling an attempted push-in robbery.

Neighbors meantime, try to come to terms with a new found fear and sadness.

"I'm sick! I'm just so shook up today..It's a bad day," neighbor Pat said.

Neighbors say 61-year-old Romeo Antonello often closed down his popular pizzeria, "Romeo's" at night on Cross Bay Boulevard.

Police say around 10:20 on Wednesday night two men wearing masks burst into the family's home and went for the 61-year-old Antonello. His son, 29-year-old Gerardo Antonello, also known as Jerry, rushed to help.

The would-be robbers pistol whipped his dad. That's when one attacker fired a gun and hit Jerry. The younger Antonello was rushed to Jamaica Hospital where he died this morning.

Around Romeo's pizzeria, word is getting out. Neighbor Tony Cerron has known Romeo for years.

"People love him. This place (the pizzeria) is usually full of people," said Cerron.

The same sentiments coming from all corners of Ozone Park -- both where Romeo and his family lived and worked.

"Down to earth. He'd do anything for you. He would give the shirt off his back...Great guy," Pat said.

"He's the kind of person you know for many years. He cares about everybody. He cares about everybody," Cerron said.

Officials say Romeo refused medical treatment after being pistol whipped, but his 29-year-old son died from his injuries.

Police are still looking for the two robbery suspects.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Lakisha Bostick

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